Half of Gilt Groupe emails opened on mobile: Email Evolution Conference

Half of all Gilt Groupe emails are opened on a mobile device, said Jessica Harley, VP of customer marketing at Gilt Groupe. Relative proportion of total sales coming from mobile for the private sales site increases 73% on weekends, and 48% between 9 p.m.and midnight, she said.

Speaking at the Direct Marketing Association‘s Email Evolution Conference in Hollywood, Fla., Harley discussed how Gilt Groupe analyzes email metrics and the way in which mobile devices have dramatically changed consumer email habits. For example, Harley said that while Gilt’s email click rates and click revenue declined throughout 2011, the company had its heaviest growth revenue during the fourth quarter.

“Mobile email openers are not clicking [on the attached link],” she said. “It’s not the user behavior. They look at the email then switch over to the app.”

Email click revenue constitutes approximately 25% of all Gilt Groupe sales, Harley said. Forty-five percent of all revenue comes from same day email clickers; 54% from same day email openers. Harley said it is crucial for brands to recognize that a significant chunk of the revenue not directly driven by clicks “comes from people who see the [subject line] and then come to the site without opening [the email],” she said. “We’ve got to be flexible in thinking about what email is contributing to [our business].”

Last week, Gilt Groupe altered the creative of its emails to reflect a more “friendly and more accessible” brand, which included brightening the email template’s color palate, Harley said.

Personalized sale emails produce 10% sales lift versus control across all customers; the company sends more than 2500 versions of its daily sale email. User input drives 30-to-50 times more revenue lift than emails without user input. Behavioral targeting drives up to 20 times revenue lift as compared to generic emails. Lifecycle marketing drives two-to-five times more revenue than generic emails. However Harley warned about the ease of overusing lifecycle messaging. “As a consumer, they annoy the heck out of me,” she said.

Harley also emphasized the importance of social media to Gilt Groupe, primarily as a relationship-builder rather than a shopping platform. But while Harley agreed that consumers were not on Facebook to shop, outreach through social channels was useful when marketing to existing customers. “Ninety percent of redemption on social comes from existing customers. It’s still an important channel even though it’s not high-volume,” she said.

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